In a world overwhelmed with content, marketers can ensure their story stands out, writes, Sairam Vedam, CMO, Kore.ai.
Customer-centricity is a buzzword marketers love. To produce content thats relevant to customers and serves their needs is an overwhelming concern for any marketer.
But most marketers fail in their quest.
Because, in the name of marketing what they end up doing is brag about their product development, advertising campaign or sales strategy.
If you want to produce customer-centric content, you need to know customers well enough and anticipate what interests them. Apparently, thats not the case. A vast majority of customers believe the marketing they receive is irrelevant (with only 3% confirming that advertising is useful to them).
In an age where conversational experiences are determining customer success, this could be a major disability. Todays customers demand highly interactive, personalized moments and more humanized experiences to stay engaged with a product, service or brand.
Learn More:Move Over Chatbots, Conversational AI Is Here
So, how do you bring customers to the center of your narrative when your focus is about your product, service or brand?
Many examples abound, but lets look at a typical case Hubspots Ian Byrne highlighted sometime back. Explaining the power of narratives in driving business, Byrne pointed out that some companies succeed enormously better than others not because they have better technology or other natural advantages compared to their competition, but rather they have a better story that connects with their audience.
Byrne picked on the famed rivalry that electrified the video rentals industry in the US at the turn of millennium, in a typical David versus Goliath fashion. How did Netflix, which came in as a novice into market monopolized by the reigning giant, Blockbuster, not just outsmart it but drove it into oblivion all within a span of a decade?
When Netflix launched in 1997, Blockbuster was a household name in the home entertainment category. It ran an extremely efficient network of video rental stores across 2,800 locations globally, which catered to the demands of the local population. People craved great entertainment, and Blockbuster figured out how to make it most accessible to them. There was something novel in the concept that people can watch their favorite movies from the comfort of their drawing rooms, at the time of their choice, in the manner that was most comfortable to them. Though video rentals were not new, Blockbuster built a retail empire out of it that became a brand in itself. People relied on the fact that Blockbuster would never turn away its customers without their choice of movies, any given day.
Starting from a single store in 1985, it grew into a retail giant with network across thousands of locations because it executed well: a well-oiled operational machine that sourced a vast repository of movies and vetted the tastes of the local audience.
No wonder it became the commonplace that people thronged to. Long weekends, holidays or even forecasts of snowstorms (which meant isolation from the outside world) inevitably led people to queue up at Blockbuster stores for stocking up on their favorite movies. As the Walmart of the entertainment world, Blockbuster prided itself on operational efficiency. It focused on increasing the number of customers storming its stores and the revenues that came in the form of rentals and penalties (for defaulting on returning the videos).
Blockbuster perfected a model that was here to stay, or so it seemed.
Netflix saw the game differently. The Internet was just about spreading, and dotcoms were booming everywhere. Surely, there were better ways of distributing entertainment. Should a customer travel all the way to a brick-and-mortar store for physical hard disk of a movie when he can access the same content through a simple mail?
The online model, Nextflix discerned early on, not just gave a better means to disseminate content, it helped discover a whole new way of connecting with the customer. The direct streaming -- and billing -- relationship with customers was a game-changer. You could track online behavior of a customer and garner insights on his entertainment needs (both stated and unstated), preferences and consumption patterns, and it leverage to deliver a truly personalized service for future. Over the next few years, Netflix went ahead to innovate a model that proved formidable with customer and his entertainment needs at the center of its universe.
Pray, how personalized is this experience?
Each person experiences his own Netflix moment.
In effect, theres no single Netflix, but multitudes of Netflixes, as many as the number of subscribers they have.
Personalization and an immersive customer experience backed by strong analytics are then at the core of Netflixs success as a brand, leaving marketers with important implications for content creation.
Marketing is moving from transactional to experiential. Often, the challenge is not just about creating great content, but making sure the right person sees that content at the right time on the right channel.
To create a memorable brand experience for the customer, each piece of content must fit into a larger conversation, contextualized to the individual. For each message, Marketers should consider the environment in which it will live; how it will drive engagement; the most appropriate channels to deliver it; and where it should appear in the customer journey. For maximum impact, everything must come together to create a seamless end-to-end content experience.
Steve Taylor, CEO, BlueRush
To create a great content experience, three elements are important:
So, is chatbot the perfect tool to personalize marketing outreach? It should be obvious by now. But there are caveats that apply when it comes to leveraging chatbots.
Learn More:8 Ways to Turn Up Customer Satisfaction with Conversational AI
Integrating chatbots into your content experience strategy enables you to interact with your target audience while collecting valuable data and insights along the way. While the technologies associated with conversational AI are becoming mainstream, there are always novel ways to use it, and content marketing is definitely one of them.
So jump in and become an early adopter.
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